ARG, or “Alternate Reality Gaming” has been around for a bit now but is still only slowly trickling into the mainstream. A big reason for this is that it is the nature of an ARG to target “super-fans” willing to invest the sort of time and energy required for full participation.
Now MentalFloss.com is providing a great overview of ARGs and some great links to help you get involved:
For example, in the ARG for The Dark Knight, a few lucky players visited participating bakeries and bought cakes that had been reserved for “Robin Banks.” Written in the icing was a phone number. When the player dialed the number, a cell phone hidden inside the cake began to ring. As the campaign went on, these players received text messages, recorded voice messages, and were instructed to call numbers to gain further access to the game’s many puzzles.
Check out the whole story here.
I think ARGs are going to continue to grow as people become more comfortable moving between the various forms of communication out there and as marketers look for new ways to create true user engagement.